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Rainbow - Straight Between The Eyes CD (album) cover




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2.49 | 135 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars "Lemme see ya rock, lemme see ya roll, lemme see ya burn, rock fever"

By 1982, Rainbow had abandoned any pretences of making challenging music, and opted for a straight (between the eyes?) forward heavy rock approach. The line up showed relative stability from the previous album, the only change being David Rosenthal's installation on keyboards in place of Don Airey.

Most if not all of the tracks here are simply vehicles for Joe Lynn Turner's fine vocals, and Blackmore's irresistible guitar work. The opening "Death alley driver" for example is an extremely ordinary rock song, brought to life by some superb guitar. "Bring on the night" is similarly prosaic in composition, but has some good old fashioned phasing.

Some tracks have little or no redeeming features. "Tite squeeze" (note the Slade like misspelling) is a thoroughly ordinary filler, and "Power" sounds like something Russ Ballard might have written. then thought the better of. "Miss mistreated" is a cruel deception title wise, in that the song bears no relation to the Deep Purple classic "Mistreated", also covered by Rainbow on their live album. Lyrically, the band plumb the depths on "Rock fever", the chorus of which is quoted above.

There are a couple of notable deviations from the guitar rock which dominates the album. "Stone cold" is a fine organ based rock ballad which affords Turner the opportunity to display his vocal dexterity. The songs has the distinct sound of "Perfect strangers" era Deep Purple, not surprising given that 40% of that line up are here. "Tearing out my heart" has a similar style, very much in the mould of some of Magnum's power rock. Such songs are well performed and highly enjoyable, but they are not what we might expect from Rainbow. Indeed the anonymity of these songs tends to indicate that the band had run out of ideas of their own. The final track, "Eyes of fire" sees the band finally reverting to the style and sound of "Stargazer" and "Eyes of the world". This 6 minute piece has a distinct eastern feel, and a hint of "Kashmir" perhaps. It is without doubt the best of the bunch, and a reassuring nod over the shoulder to the band's halcyon days. While Blackmore's guitar work is been reasonably strong throughout the album, here he finds an extra gear.

There is no denying the quality of the musicianship on display. It is a pity then that they settled for writing a succession of bland pop rock songs. Had they been a little more adventurous in that department, this could have been a very good album.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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